I feel like I roll my eyes a lot, but this time it’s justified.
Esquire magazine interviewed actor Justin Theroux for their May issue, and we were on board, until the end.
The interview goes through the expected questions about his past and current work and his upbringing and ends with the inevitable questions about his wife Jennifer Aniston. The final part is what doesn’t sit well with us.
Specifically, the magazine asks Theroux if he is threatened by Jen’s success.
If my life were a TV show, this would be the part where you hear a record scratch, and I give a Jim Halpert look at the camera.
Luckily, Justin gives an okay answer. He said,
“Not at all. She’s successful for a reason…. We’re not in competition.”
Uh, you’re darn right she’s successful for a reason. And this question is literal trash. Seriously.
Not only is it sexist (would they ask Jen if she was threatened by Justin’s success?), it’s just overall garbage.
By asking this question in the first place, to me, it seems like the magazine was hoping for a “yes” answer. And that’s just creating a hostile, competitive image of pitting people against each other.
Additionally, this question just seems lazy. Celebrity feuds are such an over-exhausted trope. We should be asking people more developed questions, and not just “who’s got beef with who?” and “who are you wearing?”. Celebrities are people too, with more nuanced thoughts and ideas. It just gets boring to read, honestly.
Most importantly, this kind of question builds up that nasty stereotype that powerful women are a threat, especially to men. Heaven forbid a woman makes more money or be more well-recognized than her partner!
And finally, can we just let Jen live? Cool.